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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: New Hampshire

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 7/8/2014
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RACE: Camping World RV Sales 301
DATE: Sunday, July 12, 2014
TRACK: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
LENGTH: 1.058-mile oval
TV: TNT (Coverage begins at 12 p.m. ET)
RADIO: PRN (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS AFTER DAYTONA: After finishing 14th last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. advanced one position to second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. He trails leader and teammate Jeff Gordon by 27 points.

2014 STATISTICS: After 18 races in the 2014 season, Earnhardt has earned two wins, nine top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS has scored more top-five results this season than any other Cup competitor.

NEW HAMPSHIRE TEST: In early June, Earnhardt tested at New Hampshire with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates in preparation for this weekend’s race at the 1.058-mile track.

AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 29 Cup starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has led 368 laps en route to seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. He has an average start of 16.0 at the 1.058-mile oval and an average finish of 15.7.

LAPS IN THE TOP 15: Earnhardt ranks fourth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire, according to NASCAR's loop data statistics. During the last 18 races at the 1.058-mile oval, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has spent 74 percent of his laps (3,976 of 5,370 total) running in the top 15.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked fifth in the driver rating category at New Hampshire with a score of 97.3 during the past 18 races at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

NEW HAMPSHIRE CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-857 this weekend at New Hampshire. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a seventh-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in April. Earnhardt also tested this chassis at New Hampshire in June during the team test.

HENDRICK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 138 starts, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 40 top-five finishes, 64 top-10s and has led 2,505 laps around the 1.058-mile oval. Kasey Kahne most recently led the team to Victory Lane in July 2012, when he started from the outside pole and led 66 laps en route to the organization’s ninth victory at New Hampshire.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

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DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON TESTING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN JUNE.): “We went to New Hampshire trying to find that little bit extra as a whole group. You only get four tests from which to choose and the whole company has to agree on where we’re going. It’s a company-wide initiative to try and improve, so I think it says a lot that we chose New Hampshire as one of those tests.”

Standings
After GEICO 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Joey Logano 3121 0
2 +1 Kevin Harvick 3117 -4
3 +1 Ryan Newman 3117 -4
4 +3 Denny Hamlin 3100 -21
5 +4 Matt Kenseth 3099 -22
6 -1 Carl Edwards 3099 -22
7 -1 Jeff Gordon 3093 -28
8 -- Kasey Kahne 3090 -31
9 -7 Kyle Busch 3086 -35
10 -- Brad Keselowski 3085 -36
11 -- Jimmie Johnson 3053 -68
12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3045 -76
Full Standings